Rollerball  [DVD]
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Remake of the 1975 future sports classic. When hockey player and skateboarder Jonathan Cross (Chris Klein) is recruited to play the emergent cable TV sport of Rollerball, he quickly becomes the game's biggest star. But after a fellow player is injured, Jonathan discovers some disturbing evidence which suggests the game is being manipulated by outside forces in order to make it increasingly violent and dangerous. Realising that his boss Petrovich (Jean Réno) is the man behind these changes, Jonathan starts making plans to get out of the game - but with so much money involved, it's unlikely his masters will let him off the hook easily.
This Rollerball, a 2002 remake of the excellent 1975 original, is one of the most notorious failed would-be blockbusters of recent years. Chris Klein struggles as Jonathon Cross, star of the violent game of the title, a mixture of speedway, hockey and rollerskating for the WWF generation. Perfunctory support comes from Rebecca (X Men) Romijn-Stamos, while Jean Reno is the promoter prepared to sacrifice player's lives for TV ratings. The remake could not be more different from the original in tone, as formal elegance is replaced by a cacophonic heavy metal soundtrack and MTV-style editing that makes the games impossible to follow. Set in the present, this Rollerball ironically fulfils the original's suggestion that the near future would be a big business, media-dominated world of blood and circuses. The film's best asset is relocating the story in a crumbling and corrupt Russia, a world sufficiently alien to have a genuinely science fictional resonance; the elaborate production design and wild profusion of costumes suggest post-communism, post-modern, global melting pot freefalling out of control, paying homage to Ridley Scott's seminal Blade Runner (significantly, perhaps, LL Cool J's character is called Ridley). Not quite as disastrous as expected, one still wonders how John (Die Hard) McTiernan made an action thriller this mediocre.
On the DVD: Rollerball's commentary by Chris Klein, LL Cool J and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos is jokey, amiable and reveals plenty of filmmaking trivia without offering anything substantial. The "Rollerball Yearbook" presents text profiles of the four teams and 11 key players linked to "highlights", i.e., montages taken from the film of the participants. This also has sections on six areas of the "Roller Dome" and three sections on "Game Gear", which amounts to a photo gallery of costumes, masks and bikes. Also included is the theatrical trailer and trailers for three other SF movies. The anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer is excellent, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is suitably dynamic and raucous. There are subtitles in six languages as well as English and English for Hard of Hearing, while the disc also contains French and Spanish dubs of the main feature. --Gary S DalkinSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As a fan of the original I was quite looking forward to this film, when it came out it received poor reviews so I never bothered getting it, however after a good few months I did decide to get it, the original is one of the most powerful films I have seen and is certainly in my top 10, this is by far the worst film I have ever seen in my life. The arena has been modernized and now resembles a circus ring rather than a sports arena, the players are like WWF characters and the action is just lame.
Motorbikes are still a factor however they serve no purpose, the scoring mechanism looks like they have made a prequel rather than a sequel. Chris Klein (a Keanu Reeves wannabe it seems) is the worst actor in the world, he portrays a real soft geezer, a wet fart so to speak and at one point when he was referred to as "The angriest man in the game" I nearly choked to death... Maybe that would have been a good thing as I would not have been able to see the rest of the film.....
The story is pants, the action is superficial, and acting is terrible, the editing (especially the sound) is the worst ever... It is an embarrassment to the word Rollerball, the only good thing to came out of it is REBECCA ROMIJN-STAMOS however that just does not make up for it unfortunately.
Don’t buy, however if you want to be able to tell your mates that you have seen the worst ever film in the history of man, then rent it, and if you haven’t seen the original, then buy that, its a must see film........ sooo disappointed
This remake jettisons anything approaching a coherent plot, has a script that is moronic, is full of gratuitous shots of topless woman (working out in a gym with your kit off, for example!) and an appalling rock soundtrack. Remember the Bach from the original? The only thing that could have potentially saved it was the Rollerball matches - but these are on a much smaller circuit, make no sense and have even less excitement about them.
Usually my attitude in reviews is to suggest other Amazon viewers make up their own minds. But in this case I recommend you do not bother with this film. See the original instead. And to think this is the work of the director who once brought us Die Hard! (Though admittedly I did read that the film was extensively recut without his permission.) Dreadful...
Two good things about this- Ice-T who can be OK, and Jean Reno who can be brilliant.
The story is weak, with zero excitement, stuttering along between illogical weak scenes.
Like the movie, the game in this one is a small thing, frantically and badly filmed, offering absolutely no interest in what’s going on.
Nothing more to add. Garbage of the worst kind, souring the name of a great movie.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Utter vacuous tosh that completely misses the point of the original film.Published 15 months ago by Woody
As anyone who has seen the original knows, one of the characters is badly injured - made brain dead - in one of the 'games'. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ian
Excellent viewing still to view again (I need to see again to give a final answerPublished 23 months ago by dave 57
wow,i think its better than the old film,as I skate with a roller derby team i loved itPublished on 4 Aug. 2014 by susan munro/steve
watched the original Rolleball many years ago and thought that was good, but this remake is even better. great filmPublished on 14 April 2014 by kripster
Watched this on sky and thought it was worth the money. Arrived in good condition and in good time enjoy better than original more sci-fi.Published on 11 Nov. 2013 by Teresa Sainsbury